Taking cue from McDonald’s, Masuzoe eyes smoking ban for all Tokyo restaurants

JIJI, Kyodo

Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe suggested Sunday that the metropolitan government will consider putting a smoking ban in all restaurants in the capital before it hosts the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Japan is the only advanced nation where smoking is permitted at restaurants. We’d like to pass an ordinance (for a smoking ban) with the cooperation of the metropolitan assembly,” Masuzoe said on a television program.

Masuzoe’s remark follows Friday’s announcement by McDonald’s Japan that it had banned smoking at all of its 3,135 outlets across the nation. Ninety percent of McDonald’s restaurants in Japan were non-smoking as of the end of March, but the burger chain finally opted to pull the trigger on a complete ban out of consideration for the health of its customers and employees, the company said.

Masuzoe told reporters later that he wants to impose a smoking ban in all public facilities and restaurants in Tokyo, adding that the metropolitan government will discuss how well it can be enforced by law.

Japan used to be a haven for smokers but has been making steady progress since the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry in principle banned smoking in public facilities.

Masuzoe hopes to step up measures to set up designated smoking areas and prevent secondhand smoking in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, sources said.

  • harleyrider1903

    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.


    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  • harleyrider1903

    Barbecues poison the air with toxins and could cause cancer, research suggests.
    A study by the French environmental campaigning group Robin des Bois found that a typical two-hour barbecue can release the same level of dioxins as up to 220,000 cigarettes.

    Dioxins are a group of chemicals known to increase the likelihood of cancer.

    The figures were based on grilling four large steaks, four turkey cuts and eight large sausages.”

    • Jameika

      You make a very good point about the general poisoning of our air. This would be a very good argument for not going out for yakiniku.

      Your point is lost, though, on the difference between food and an addiction. Plus yakiniku isn’t at nearly every restaurant.

      I would also appreciate not having to breathe the barbecue smoke (or even car exhaust), but I don’t find many people individually choosing to barbecue me some toxins while I’m waiting at the bus stop.

  • harleyrider1903

    Mcdonalds Serves up 75 hamburgers a second worldwide that’s the same as serving up 18,750 cigarettes a second worldwide smoke and chemicals released indoors and out,yet they ban a few smokers from smoking inside when a lousy hamburger creates as much as 250 cigarettes worth of equivalent smoke and chemicals………………ROFLMAO!
    If you’re afraid of second-hand smoke, you should also avoid cars, restaurants…and don’t even think of barbecuing.

    here are just some of the chemicals present in tobacco smoke and what else contains them:

    Arsenic, Benzine, Formaldehyde.

    Arsenic- 8 glasses of water = 200 cigarettes worth of arsenic

    Benzine- Grilling of one burger = 250 cigarettes

    Formaldehyde – cooking a vegetarian meal = 100 cigarettes

    When you drink your 8 glasses of tap water (64 ounces) a day, you’re safely drinking up to 18,000 ng of arsenic by government safety standards of 10 nanograms/gram (10 ng/gm = 18,000ng/64oz) for daily consumption.

    Am I “poisoning” you with the arsenic from my cigarette smoke? Actually, with the average cigarette putting out 32 ng of arsenic into the air which is then diluted by normal room ventilation for an individual exposure of .032 ng/hour, you would have to hang out in a smoky bar for literally 660,000 hours every day (yeah, a bit hard, right?) to get the same dose of arsenic that the government tells you is safe to drink.

    So you can see why claims that smokers are “poisoning” people are simply silly.

    You can stay at home all day long if you don’t want all those “deadly” chemicals around you, but in fact, those alleged 4000-7000 theorized chemicals in cigarettes are present in many foods, paints etc. in much larger quantities. And as they are present in cigarettes in very small doses, they are harmless. Sorry, no matter how much you like the notion of harmful ETS, it’s a myth.

    • Iain Macpherson

      Yeah, but if you take the ‘scientific’ premise away from their demands, they’ll have to admit it really comes down to the psychological charge they get from forcing others to conform to their moral vision. Hell, forcing them to admit that is probably an infringement on their rights.

      • Mike Wyckoff

        if cigarettes didn’t have an odour, (ie: some e-cigarettes) I wouldn’t give a crap, and that’s all it has to do with. you can piss in your pool, fart in your kitchen, smoke in your car, but don’t make me conform to your moral vision…

      • Iain Macpherson

        Just so I’m clear about where you’re coming from: You don’t like the smell of something, and so it should be banned. Umm … no.

      • Mike Wyckoff

        No, you’re not clear. In fact you’re far from it. I said cigarettes, not “things”

      • Iain Macpherson

        ?? They’re not sentient entities, my man.

      • Mike

        no, they’re not, but I have no problem with other “things”. You’re taking what I said out of context.

      • Iain Macpherson

        This discussion has taken a very strange semantic turn.

        So I’ll rephrase the post that, inexplicably, started an argument over the word ‘thing’:

        Your position is that you don’t like the smell of *cigarettes,* and so they should be banned.That’s not a very tenable argument.

        Maybe you should start your own non-smoking stand-up bar, or ramen shack, or wherever it is that you want to control what other people put in their bodies? I’m sure you’d attract a clientele of dour white folks in no time.

        Or you could just hang out at Starbucks and, now, McDonald’s all the time.

      • Mike

        So, your arguement is essentially “live with it”.
        More of the same from the smoking crowd. You still haven’t looked up the word “considerate”, have you?

      • Iain Macpherson

        The whole ‘considerate’ argument is also untenable – because It’s not *considerate* to tell other people what to do, or to tell establishment owners whether they and their clientele can smoke in their privately owned spaces, or to make Japan conform to western norms.

      • harleyrider1778

        Exactly since all they ever had was Government mandated hate to push these bans worldwide from the UN all the way down to the local health dept Nazis……….

    • J.P. Bunny

      Be as scientific as you want, but you left out a key word: consideration. You don’t fill my eating area with your smoke, I don’t fart, belch, bring screaming babies, play loud music, roughhouse, get drunk, etc., in your eating area.

      • Iain Macpherson

        It’s not *your* eating area; it’s the proprietor’s. It should be up to him or her whether people can smoke there.

      • J.P. Bunny

        As mentioned before, you seem to have forgotten about consideration of others.

      • Iain Macpherson

        But we’re talking about your average Japanese eatery or pub, yes? Not a library. Plus, it’s also mighty inconsiderate to killjoy someone’s freedom to smoke, or get drunk for that matter, in an establishment where the owner is cool with it.

      • Mike

        There is a difference between getting drunk and smoking. Again, you are lumping everything together. If someone is drinking urine, I don’t have a problem with it, just don’t spit it or spill it on me with every gulp.

      • Iain Macpherson

        You should just stop hanging out in pee-fetish bars.

      • So JP, you’re proposing that we drop the smoking ban laws and simply ask for consideration? Or are you proposing that we apply similar laws to noisy babies, farting etc? You’re clearly equating the two in terms of how you think they should be treated, but you don’t say which form of reaction you prefer? And would you feel the same way about restaurant patrons who insist upon filling the dining area with their invisible, odorless, but nonetheless carcinogenic ethyl alcohol and acetaldehyde fumes from their drinking activities? Or should there be a law throwing them out back by the dumpsters to chug their Dom Perignons after a meal?

        – MJM

  • harleyrider1903

    Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

    This sorta says it all

    These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

    So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ”SAFE LEVELS”


    All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes.

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA.

    Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!

  • gokyo

    Obviously the comments so far are from inconsiderate smokers that fail to take into account that some of us prefer to eat our food without having to smell the by-product of someone’s nasty habit. I think in all fairness these type of people should be made to sit next to someone that is passing gas or has body odor while they are trying to enjoy their meal and then tell me it is acceptable.

    • Iain Macpherson

      It’s simple: Go eat in a non-smoking establishment. The only problem is that you won’t get the moral frisson that comes from knowing others are prevented from doing as they please around you.

      • Scott Reynolds

        Um, dude, the article is about Japan. In many restaurants here there is only a non-smoking *area*, which is a little like having a non-peeing area in the pool.

      • Iain Macpherson

        So, dude, let some Japanese dude open a ramen shoppe for non-smoking dudes. As long as it’s decent eats, he’d get some takers.

      • Mike Wyckoff

        I choose to do that, but in Japan that severely limits ones options if they NEVER go to a “smoking allowed” establishment.
        some examples, chains “daikichi” “tenkkaippin” “torikizoku”, “the hub”, allows smoking, I love yakitori, but I have to decide between eating yakitori with smoke in my face or not enjoying it at all. isnt there an option of enjoying my meal without someone’s disgusting stench?

      • Iain Macpherson

        “Disgusting stench.” This issue plainly has you excitedly upset! If you find the Japanese cityscape so foul, why be there?

      • Mike Wyckoff

        I don’t find the cityscape foul at all, I just find cig. smoke foul. IIts too bad that it infringes on a smokers right to blow their smoke around like they own the air.

      • Iain Macpherson

        Japanese cityscapes are full of smoke, and have been since people started smoking there. If you don’t like it, instead of demanding that the locals hew to western cultural standards, you should return to whatever lungtopia you come from. It’s like one big Starbucks over here in Canada; you’d fit right in!

      • Mike

        I thought you were in Japan?

        “Japanese cityscapes are full of smoke, and have been since people started smoking there.”

        yes, and before they started smoking there, what was it full of ?

      • Iain Macpherson

        The 1700s. Feudal oppression.

      • Mike

        Besides trolling, you could have also gone with, “clean air”.

      • Iain Macpherson

        Japanese pre-modern cities were like pre-modern cities anywhere: stinky with sewage.

  • Dr. Wayne Dyer: “It makes about as much sense to have a smoking section in a restaurant as it does to have a peeing section in a swimming pool.”

    • Iain Macpherson

      Fine, but if someone wants to open a ‘peeing ok’ pool, that ought to be their prerogative.

      • Mike Wyckoff

        yeah, but if the pool isnt clearly mark “PEE OK” then you’re gonna feel a little disgusted after changing into your swim trunks and dipping that first foot in.

      • Iain Macpherson

        Yes, that’s right. But I’m not sure I get the point you’re making …

      • Mike

        You don’t seem to get ANYTHING, on this issue.

      • Iain Macpherson

        Easy, Mike. We’re trying to keep this a civilized debate. Judging from your spelling, grammar, and the tangents that your line of thought keeps wandering off on, you don’t want to impugn my intelligence.

        I understand it’s tough for you right now, being put in the corner of having to admit there’s nothing backing your argument but moralizing – not to mention *westernizing* – zeal.

      • Mike

        “Put in a corner” ? Ha!
        From all of your attempted arguments, it sounds like you’re just a tad bitter for not being able to light it up at Starbucks or where ever else you decide to pollute.

        One has the freedom to do as they like, as long as that doesn’t harm someone else.
        Example 1: Drinking at a bar, as long as that person doesn’t become intoxicated and start assaulting others around him.
        Example 2: Listening to music at a volume as long as the volume doesn’t bring harm to others ears.
        Example 3: (this one may be hard for you to understand) Doing drugs, as long as, the carcinogenic byproducts don’t affect the health of others. (This is where 2nd and 3rd hand smoke play a part.)

        All it takes is a moral compass, you know, the one that also tells us not to kill, steal, or cheat.

      • What would be easier to enforce and verify?
        A complete peeing ban in all pools or a mandatory sign clearly designating it?

        And what happended to the religiously preached tolerance for minorities?
        In the pool case for those that like a golden shower …
        Oh, I see!
        Mandatory tolerance only for those minorities that don’t offend your own moralistic values and comfort.
        A little bit hypocritical, i think …

      • Mike

        I have yet to see a single shop anywhere with a sign that says, “SMOKING PERMITTED”, but if I did, I would go somewhere else. On the other hand, when a shop is non-smoking, no one smokes, so what is there to enforce. Besides, It’s kind of easy to tell if someone is smoking, as you may be unaware, there is a certain smell that fills the air. A staff-member would simply have to take 5 seconds to remind the patron of the rules. Seems hardly a difficult chore.

        You’re speaking of minorities like non-smokers are racist or something. There is a difference between being intolerant of other races and being intolerant to carcinogens.

      • Well, if smoking permission is the norm, it would make more sense to explicitly label non-smoking establishments.

        I was talking about the promoted total ban of smoking etc. in all “public” places. Even dictatorically removing the right of the shop owner the freedom to choose, what he might allow in his own place. Only for the “greater good”, of course. And the health nazis won’t stop here, as you can already see down under and in some parts of the benighted States.

        I certainly can detect the smell of smoke quite some distance away. I have smoked one single cigarette in the last 2.5 years now. I’m just not paranoid about it. I don’t have any problem with visiting friends smoking anywhere.

        About minorities:
        That’s exactly my point: There are “good” minorities worthy of all possible tolerance and “bad” minorities which mandate only scorn, disgust and ostracism. And you decide the determining criteria.

        I think the vast majority of non-smokers doesn’t really care one way or the other. Sure when ask, whether they were for a smoking ban they wouldn’t disagree. But when they have to choose between a totally smokefree environment and being with their smoking friends and family, they would reconsider. Some might even have empathy with the social and physical discomfort this self-righteous moralistic ostracism is causing them.

      • “I have yet to see a single shop anywhere with a sign that says, “SMOKING PERMITTED”, but if I did, I would go somewhere else.”

        Which is exactly the way it should work. And if the sign said “No Smoking” then I might go somewhere else as well.

        The only problem arises when the crazy people start trying to insist that *EVERY* shop hang a SMOKING PERMITTED sign or, contrariwise, a NO SMOKING sign. Without the nutcases out there, we’d be fine.

        – MJM

    • I can’t believe the Antis are still trolling with this one. As I’ve pointed out in a number of venues over the years, there *is* a slight difference between the two: A public pool changes its water about once a year. A public restaurant changes its air about 25,000 times a year. Plus, anyone who thinks they can pop into a public pool with a bunch of screaming kindergartners and grade schoolers and NOT have pee in there is living in a dream world (Heh, same probably holds true if there are a fair number of even our most august senior citizens in it too! LOL! I don’t think they’ve invented a “Depends” bathing suit yet!

      – MJM
      P.S. In addition to the raw water/air-change ratio, you also have most restaurants offering non-smoking sections where their air streams are directed to guide the smoke *away* from nonsmokers. If you factor THAT aspect in, the relative exposures of urine/smoke in pools/restaurants would would probably change by another two decimal places, making the average pool literally two and a half MILLION times as polluted.

  • Scott Reynolds

    In response to harleyrider1903:

    Yeah, and second-hand farts probably won’t cause any long-term harm, either. That does’t mean I want to smell them while I’m enjoying my dinner.

  • Mike Wyckoff

    I’m surprised it has taken this long…I can’t wait to not smell like cigarettes after a night out

    • harleyrider1778

      You don’t have to now STAY AWAY FROM WHERE PEOPLE SMOKE!
      Why do you like being with the smokers so much?

      • Mike

        Can’t expect a smoker to EVER accept this, whatwith the overwelming support this bill is already getting. Its ok, you can smoke outside.

      • Iain Macpherson

        It’s not getting overwhelming support, because the Japanese are not nanny-state killjoys. Unless, of course, I’m wrong, and you can furnish some proof of this “overwhelming support” – from Japanese, not westerners.

      • Mike

        You’ve been in Canada too long, dude. Within the last 5 years there has been a considerable drop in smoking as people are finally realizing its poison. In another 5, we should hopefully be smoke-free in public. You’re fighting a loosing battle, man.

      • Iain Macpherson

        We’re not talking about smoking rates, but rather your seemingly casual declaration that there is ‘overwhelming’ support for a smoking ban in private businesses. There isn’t.

        So if Masuzoe’s ban happens, it’s because of westerners demanding that Japan become one big Starbucks, in a priggish alliance (or at least, alignment) with Japanese neoconservatives who are trying to roll back all sorts of individual (and political) freedoms in Japan. We’ll see if I’m fighting a losing battle — probably not, because Japanese citizens don’t like the idea of over-regulated personal behaviour. But you’re definitely on the wrong side of this battle.

      • Mike

        “…There isn’t”

        Maybe not in Canada, but you would know about whats going on on a daily basis here in Japan, wouldn’t you.
        “So if Masuzoe’s ban happens, it’s because of westerners demanding that Japan become one big Starbucks”

        You seem way out of the loop, thinking a “neoconservative” is going to cater to Westerners. He may not be Ishihara, but Masuzoe is backed by Abe’s party, arguably the most conservative party in Japan. If he was a DPJ-backed leader, you may have a point.
        “Japanese citizens don’t like the idea of over-regulated personal behaviour.”

        Over-regulated is very subjective, you could say, its already over-regulated, from a Liberian standpoint.

        But, Japanese on the whole, do not have a problem being told what, where, when, why, or how to do things. You would know that from living here, and observing people, instead of making assumptions that Japanese are as unruly as Westerners, and won’t accept being told to smoke outside.

        But you’re definitely on the wrong side of this battle.

        Yep, You’re definitely smoking SOMETHING.

  • harleyrider1778

    Its going to finally come down to a few things…….profits for companies with knock on sales and tax revenue losses……….enforcement costs,Blackmarkets,crime etc etc…….

    The same things that killed every prohibitionist movement!

  • Guest

    Yoda, Jedi Master: “Try not, do. There is no try.”

  • Guest

    Are you seriously saying that 2nd/3rd hand smoke does not cause cancer? ok, now I know you are trolling. So, I’m done.

    • Iain Macpherson

      I’m no scientist, so actually I’m just reporting what the *very* highly-ranked, officially Oxford-affiliated Journal of the National Cancer Institute just seriously said! Read the link. Then you’re done.

      • Mike

        Iain, it’s clear that you’re just a bitter smoker trolling around looking for someone to engage with and you hand me hooked. Good for you.
        Your most recent troll stating secondhand smoke doesn’t cause cancer is just outright lame. There are 60 some odd chemicals being released with every puff. I can think of at least 13 off the top of my head that cause certain types of cancers, so, nope. You are wrong. You shouldn’t believe everything you read.

        As for your desire to know where Masuzoe used to work, get this, it was as Health Minister. So, yeah, that smoking ban, what a shocker, eh?!

        Anyways, I’m done here. Good day.

  • Mike

    If you have been in Japan for years, then please enlighten me as to Masuzoe’s previous Ministerial positions. If you know his background, then you know why he would suggest implementing this bylaw. And you would know why he left federal LDP party.

    • Iain Macpherson

      You’re going to have to fill me in on those Ministerial details – please while explaining their relevance to this debate.

      I know why Masu wants to implement the bylaw; he states his reasons outright: It’s to be more like western ‘advanced’ nations and to kowtow to foreigners visiting during the Olympics. It’s a textbook case/strategy of *gaiatsu* (‘foreign pressure). Plus I know his unstated reason: the neoconservative LDP desire to incrementally increase regulation of personal behaviour in Japan.